The Perfect Imperfection of The School Nativity Play!
It is that time of year again where we all start to decorate our Christmas Trees and prepare for a month of festivities leading up to Christmas Day. Every morning we watch our children excitedly open their advent calendars and relish in the small chocolate that they are allowed to eat alongside their breakfast. We watch them writing their lists to Santa, hoping that they won’t ask for something that we know would break the bank if we got it but break their hearts if we didn’t. And this week, I watched one of the most treasured school moments we will ever have of our children – The School Nativity Play!
In my eight years of being a mum I have sat through four pre-school Christmas concerts and five school Nativity plays and I have never tired of that feeling of immense pride we get as parents watching our little ones up on stage.
On Tuesday I saw my four year old playing a Page in his reception class play. I have to admit that I wasn’t too sure what a Page was when he told me his fate but after a little research I learnt that it was a Kings servant and he had the very important job of carrying the Myrrh to the baby Jesus. When I asked him if he knew what Myrrh was he thought for a minute and then said ‘it’s some sort of spice, spice, spice…………spicy chicken mummy…………yes, that’s it, spicy chicken!’ He was so sure of himself that I didn’t dare tell him otherwise.
So there he sat in his costume made by my mum from one of my dad’s old shirts with one of his brothers muslins over his head with a band around it. You can’t beat a badly fitting home-made costume at one of these plays! He was alongside Kings with cardboard crowns and Stars dressed in black with lots of sparkly bits attached. On the bench at the front there sat cute little donkeys and sheep and pretty little angels. Sitting in pride of place were the chosen boy and girl who had the privilege of being Mary and Joseph. Their parents must have felt so proud that their child had been selected for the lead role. Not as proud as I was of my adorable little Kings servant though!
The children sang their cute innocent songs in their sweet angel like voices and looked out wide eyed at the audience trying to spot their mummy and daddy and grandparents. I couldn’t quite believe that it was just three months ago that we left our little four year olds in their new classroom looking at us with eyes begging us not to leave them. What a journey they have had and how they have grown in just three short months.
I always say that it is the unplanned moments of these plays that give the most pleasure. You wish that you could bottle it and remember it forever. My little boy sitting with his finger up his nose when singing ‘Hallelujah’ with his classmates. The sweet little lost lamb who saw her mum and gave her the thumbs up as she left the stage, as if to say , ‘Mum, I did it!’. The little girl who knocked over the gift of Frankincense with a very loud ‘oh dear’ and then jumped off the stage to retrieve it. The reception class Nativity Play has an innocence and a sincerity that you won’t ever get again as your little one grows with their school. It is amazing to see your pride and joy on the stage singing their little heart out and it is a moment that you will never forget.
My six year olds Nativity was just as special as this is the time that they progress onto real, actual lines! There is nothing quite like the feeling when your child delivers their little line to the audience that they have been practising over and over again for weeks. Hands up mums who had their eyes fixated on their little one, oblivious to the rest of the class, just waiting for their moment in the spot light? I know I certainly was! My third eye was also quick to spot the child free styling with the perfect air guitar to the background music and the boys who got the giggles when competing to see you could sing the loudest. After all, it is these little imperfections that make the classic school nativity play just perfect!